New Zealand bowling coach Jacob Oram described Amelia Kerr as a ‘future captain’ considering her rapid rise at the international level, but the allrounder is in no mood to rush things. For now, she is happy to concentrate on her game and eager to become one of New Zealand’s most reliable players.
“Captaincy is something I am interested in, but I am in no rush at all and just want to keep enjoying my cricket by being a good team player to the best of my ability,” Kerr told Women’s CricZone. “For me right now it’s about becoming the complete allrounder with both bat and ball, who can be relied on in pressure situations.”
Oram’s comments came on the eve of New Zealand’s final group game against Australia at the T20 World Cup in February-March earlier this year, which they lost narrowly by four runs missing a semi-final berth. Just a few days before that, Kerr’s onslaught against India’s highly-regarded leggie Poonam Yadav in the penultimate over of New Zealand’s chase underlined her true potential as a genuine allrounder.
Making her debut at the age of 16, Kerr, a native of Wellington’s northernmost suburb Tawa, was born to former Wellington cricketers Robbie and Jo, and inherited her cricketing genes from maternal grandfather Bruce Murray, the former New Zealand Test cricketer.
Despite her background, it is Kerr’s maturity, versatility and the temperament that make her stand out. The 19-year-old’s 232 not out and a 5 for 17 in the same ODI against Ireland in 2018 is a testament to that – a performance that made veteran teammate Suzie Bates say, “Amelia Kerr will break my record as leading run-scorer one day.” For the fact, her double century is the highest score by a batter in women’s ODI history.
“Those comments from Jake (Oram) and Suzie don’t add any extra pressure to me at all,” said Kerr, who has 567 runs and 82 wickets in 64 international games so far. “Those comments are nice to hear as it shows the respect and belief your coaches and teammates have in you. For me, I want to stay in the moment and just get better each day and be the best I can be.”
Kerr, who has played three world tournaments across formats, is one of the best exponents of the wrong’ un in the women’s game. Although quite short, she is able to generate great pace through the air, rushing the opposition batters, and often picking up a wicket with the delivery.
Still only 19, the leg-spinner is one of the more highly-rated bowlers in the world, drawing comparisons with India tweaker Poonam Yadav.
“Poonam is a great bowler, one of the best spinners going around. We both bowl the same art but I think very differently with the pace we bowl at and the height it comes from,” Kerr admitted.
“Unfortunately, I didn’t chat with her at the recent ICC T20 World Cup but the leagues around the world allow players from other countries to interact, which is an awesome opportunity to learn from players who have been around the international scene a lot longer than I have.”